LONDON, England, September 5. THE seventh night of racing at the 2012 London Paralympics featured plenty of world records, but also some historic medal tallies as the likes of Jessica Long and Benoit Huot ascended the career medal charts. Huot pushed his total to 19 with a bronze, while Long's 15th career medal gave her an 11th gold medal as well.
China continues to lead the overall medal tally with 41 medals including 17 golds. Great Britain is second with 31 medals, but only six golds, while the U.S. has 30 total medals including 11 golds. Australia, Ukraine and Russia each have 28 medals with 12, 11, and 10 gold medals each.
Australia's Jacqueline Freney, the undisputed star of this meet so far with six golds had the night off, while Long moved to six medals herself this evening. Long has won four events, and also picked up a pair of silver medals thus far. Matthew Cowdrey moved into a tie with idle Ihar Boki with five medals each.
(Want some insight into the classification system at the Paralympics? Click here to read Jeff Commings' breakdown of the groupings.)
Great Britain's Oliver Hynd popped the London Aquatics Center crowd to start the evening with a European record time of 2:24.63 in the men's 200 IM SM8 finale. The victory gave Hynd his third medal of the meet as the 17-year-old now has a medal of each color. He earned silver in the 400 free and bronze in the 100 back earlier this week. China's Wang Jiachao placed nearly two seconds behind with a silver-winning effort of 2:26.62, his second silver of the week. The Netherlands' Maurice Deelen snared bronze with a 2:27.17 as the 41-year-old now has a trio of medals this week with a silver in the 50 free and bronze in the 100 breast and 200 IM.
Jessica Long, a Swimming World Disabled Swimmer of the Year, continues to add to her already legendary career. Today, she raced to a 2:40.42 in prelims of the women's 200 IM SM8, besting her Games standard of 2:41.85 from 2008. Long then dominated the freestyle leg of the finale with a scorching time of 2:37.09, just a second off her world record of 2:36.00. With the triumph, Long increased her medal tally to six this week with four golds and two silvers. In her career, Long now has won 15 medals with 11 golds. Russia's Olesya Vladykina held tough with Long throughout the first 150 meters before winding up with silver in 2:41.79 down the stretch. Vladykina now has a trio of medals this week, one of each color. Meanwhile, China's Jiang Shengnan clocked an Asian record 2:49.47 to win bronze in the event — her third bronze of the meet.
USA's Ian Silverman dropped the hammer down the final 100 meters to capture the gold medal in the men's 400 free S10 event. Silverman rattled the world record in the event with a scorching time of 4:04.91 for the win. That effort blasted the Games record of 4:05.84 set by Andre Brasil in 2008, but fell off the world record of 4:04.20 owned by Philippe Gagnon. The 16-year-old from the North Baltimore Aquatic Club earned his first medal of the meet after swimming in four other finals. Canada's Benoit Huot raced to silver in 4:06.58 for his third medal of the meet, having earned a medal of each color. Huot now has a stunning 19 career Paralympic medals spanning back to a six-medal haul in 2000. Local favorite Robert Welbourn of Great Britain snared bronze with a 4:08.18, his first medal of the meet.
France's Elodie Lorandi backhalfed her way to triumph in the women's 400 free S10 with a time of 4:34.55. That swim pushed her to three medals this week, having taken bronze in the 50 free and 100 fly previously. Canada's Aurelie Rivard overtook USA's Susan Beth Scott for silver with a 4:36.46 as the 16-year-old won her first medal of the meet. Scott, meanwhile, earned her second silver of the meet after taking second as part of the 400 free relay 34 points for the U.S. two nights ago.
Korea's Lim Woo-Geun knocked off Germany's Niels Grunenberg with an Asian record time of 1:34.06 to win the men's 100 breast SB5 event. Grunenberg snared silver with a time of 1:34.98. Mexico's Pedro Rangel rounded out the podium with a bronze-winning time of 1:36.85 as the entire top-three won their first medals of the meet.
Germany's Kirsten Bruhn downed the 50-meter breaststroke world record in the women's SB5 during her victorious effort in the 100 breast event. She split a time of 43.48, undercutting her 43.55 from this morning that bested her 2009 mark of 43.69 from Berlin. Meanwhile, Bruhn downed her Games record of 1:36.30 from 2008 with a 1:35.03 this morning, before capturing the 100 breast crown this evening in 1:35.50. The win gave the 42-year-old her second medal of the meet, along with a silver in the 100 back on night one. She now has 11 career medals, including a threepeat in the 100 breast with triumphs in 2004 and 2008. China's Song Lingling placed second with an Asian record time of 1:47.19, while USA's Noga Nir-Kistler took down the American mark with a bronze-winning 1:50.76.
Russia's Aleksandr Nevolin-Svetov finally broke through into the win column with a world-record time of 59.35 in the men's 100 back S12. That swim broke his global mark of 59.37 set back in 2008 as he defended his title. So far this week, Nevolin-Svetov had placed second a pair of times in the 200 IM and 100 free, but blasted his way to a new global standard in the dorsal event. USA's Tucker Dupree raced to an American record time of 1:01.36, adding to his bronze in the 100 free from last night. Ukraine's Sergii Klippert clipped his compatriot Maksym Veraksa for bronze, 1:01.55 to 1:01.82.
Russia's Oxana Savchenko smashed the world and Games record in the women's 100 back S12, busting through the 1:08 barrier with a 1:07.99. That effort crushed the previous mark of 1:08.89 set by Zhun Hongyan back in 2004, giving Savchenko an impressive fourth gold medal this week. She already won the 400 free, 200 IM and 100 free earlier this week. Azerbaijan's Natali Pronina took silver with a time of 1:09.46 for her second silver of the week, while Great Britain's Hannah Russell charged to third with a 1:10.15. Russell now has three medals this week, having won silver in the 400 free and bronze in the 100 fly and 100 back.
Ukraine's Yevheniy Bohodayko rocketed past his world record in the men's 100 breast SB6 with a blistering time of 1:20.17. That splendid effort crushed his world record of 1:22.39 set last summer, and surpassed his Games record of 1:23.86 set in prelims. Bohodayko clinched his fourth medal of the meet with two wins in the 100 breast and 200 IM, as well as runner-up finishes in the 100 back and 50 fly. Germany's Torben Schmidtke placed five seconds behind with a silver-winning 1:25.23, while Germany's Christoph Burkard placed third in 1:27.09.
The Games record in the women's 100 breast SB6 event fell three times today. First, Great Britain's Elizabeth Johnson clocked a 1:41.09 in heat one of prelims to best the 1:41.84 set by Sarah Bowen in 2004. Charlotte Henshaw then lowered the mark to 1:39.64 in heat two of qualifying. Ukraine's Viktoriia Savtsova, however, edged Henshaw in the finale, 1:39.13 to 1:39.16, to finish the night with possession of the Games mark. Johnson, meanwhile, checked in with a bronze-winning 1:40.90.
China's Yang Yang blitzed the world record in the men's 50 back S2 with a 1:01.35 in prelims. That swim eclipsed the 1:02.67 global standard set by Dmitrii Kokarev last summer, and also bettered Kokarev's Games mark of 1:03.17 set in 2008. Yang then nearly became the first man in the division to break 1:00 with a stunning 1:00.90 world record in the finale giving the 15-year-old his third gold medal of the meet. Greece's Aristeidis Makrodimitris raced to silver in 1:04.71, while former world-record holder Kokarev placed third in 1:05.70.
China had another remarkable S2 finish in the women's 50 back event. Feng Yazhu crushed the previous global mark with a 1:03.00. That time blasted the world record of 1:06.97 set by Ukraine's Ganna Ielisavetska last summer, and obliterated the Games record of 1:16.33 set by Sara Carracelas for Spain in 2008. Ielisavetska, meanwhile, took silver in 1:04.14 to cut more than two seconds from her best time, while teammate Iryna Sotska finished third in 1:05.16.
Australia's Matthew Cowdrey cruised by his world record in the men's 50 free S9 with a swift 25.13. That swim eclipsed his global mark of 25.28 set in March of this year, and undercut his Games record of 25.34 set in 2008. The victory gave Cowdrey his fifth medal of the meet with three wins in the 100 back, 50 free, 400 free relay 34 points and a pair of silvers in the 100 fly and 100 breast. He now has 19 career Paralympic medals dating back to a six-medal haul in 2004. He also has won 11 gold medals in his illustrious career. Hungary's Tamas Toth placed a distant second in 25.75, while Spain's Jose Antonio Mari Alcaraz earned bronze in 25.93.
China's Lin Ping lowered the Games record in the women's 50 free S9 with a sterling time of 29.12 to also set the Asian standard. The swim surpassed the 29.20 Games record set by legend Natalie Du Toit in 2008, but came up a bit shy of Du Toit's world record of 29.04 set in May 2006. Great Britain's Louise Watkin took second in 29.21, while Australia's Ellie Cole finished third in 29.28 for the Oceania record.
Mexico's Gustavo Sanchez Martinez claimed the final gold medal on offer tonight with a 1:24.28 in the men's 100 free S4. Spain's Richard Oribe, the world-record holder with a 1:22.43 from 2009 to his credit, placed second in 1:25.33. France's David Smetanine wound up third with a bronze-winning 1:25.76.